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A Revelation

Posted on 15 Aug 2017 @ 12:21am by Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh & Captain Harvey Geisler

Mission: The Finnean Crisis
Location: Flight Deck Control
Timeline: MD 6 || 0700 hours

Though the Shuttlebay was disconnected from Flight Deck Control, it still handled all fighter and shuttle traffic. Petty Officer Tiner had served aboard the prior Black Hawk. The last time he'd seen traffic so congested and erratic was during the Battle for Deep Space Eleven. Prior to that... well, he'd never seen anything so complicated.

Thankfully, aside from the Shuttle Visitor, only three Gryphons were in the air. The Rakhari were still watching the planet closely. The Ferengi had left. The Dosi were still carefully inching towards Deep Space Fifteen. And now, Alpha Flight was about to take over the CAP from Charlie Flight. At least, so they were supposed to in the next hour.

Terry was glad not to be in this rotation of Alpha's CAP. He enjoyed being in the fighter, but there was also so much more that he had to do as Squadron Commander. This time, he was up early and in Flight Deck Control, watching the goings on. He had made his way back over to where the Petty Officer was monitoring the flow of traffic. Terry didn't get too close as this was a stressful enough job without someone looking over your shoulder.

He watched as the icons indicating the three Charlie Flight fighters continued their patrol. Things had gone smoother since they'd gotten the thing settled with the Ferengi and they'd disappeared. He took a deep breath and then something caught his eye. His fighters were out there. So were the Rakhari and the Dosi. But... "That's odd. Petty Officer, scan the immediate area again and tell me if there is any Selubassari ships around."

"Sir?" asked Tiner, looking up at the tall, bald man. He hadn't recalled seeing any Selubassari ships since their arrival. He wondered why the Commander thought there'd be Selubassari ships around.

"I didn't really notice any on yesterday's CAP, but then I was pretty busy with the Ferengi," he replied. "Now that I see the field in a basic representation on the monitor, I just realized that there aren't any of their ships out there. That's odd, considering they were the one's that the Captain negotiated with on the station. Wouldn't you want to protect what you controlled? So let's see if they have any traffic in the immediate area or system."

Tiner shook his head. The Commander's logic was sound, but he could tell there were things he wasn't being told. He accessed the full sensor array, getting the proper clearance from Ops to do so. "Running a full sweep now," he said. "Definitely no Selubassari ships in the Finnea system. It's going to be a few minutes to check twenty lightyears."

"That's quite alright, Finnea system is good enough for now," said Terry. "Keep running the twenty lightyear scan. It might come in handy shortly." Terry straightened up and looked around the room. He didn't know what it meant, but it was an anomaly. And those usually brought more questions.

"Shortly, sir?" asked Tiner, looking up from his sensor results just briefly. "Nearly a full lightyear has come back so far," he said. "No Selubassari. A lot more Dosi and Rakhari. One Karemma hauler too."

"Well, 'shortly' being relative," he said with a laugh. "That'll be good, keep it up." Terry tapped his combadge, hoping that the Captain was awake. "Commander Walsh to Captain Geisler."

On the bridge, Harvey sat in his chair, reviewing one of the many reports given to him by Mila. In fact, he'd spent the last fifteen minutes trying to get through the first page of this Operations report detailing yesterday's power consumption. Under normal circumstances, this would have been a bore to push through. Today, his mind simply wasn't on it. His mind was on the surface, on the safety of the Away Team.

When he heard Commander Walsh's voice over the comm, he was thankful for the distraction. "Go ahead, Commander."

"Sir, I've just noticed something odd in the space traffic in our area. There are no Selubassari ships, not in orbit or even in the Finnea System. Flight Deck Control is scanning further out, but even at one lightyear, there are none. A lot more Dosi and Rakhari, but no Selubassari. That doesn't seem right, all things considered." Terry wasn't sure what it meant, but hopefully nothing bad.

Harvey immediately rose from his chair and moved to the tactical station. As the comm was on an open frequency, and none of the senior staff were on the bridge as of yet, this was Ensign Vobaz's first time working with the ship's captain. The Benzite acted immediately, tapping into the sensors herself. "Confirmed, sir," she said, looking up at the human.

"And what about yesterday?" Harvey asked, completely bewildered that he hadn't thought to think of Selubassari ships the day prior.

The Ensign performed a quick search of the sensor logs from the last twenty-four hours. "Negative."

"This changes everything," Harvey said over the comm system. "And you are correct, Commander. This doesn't seem right at all."

Terry answered back over the system, "I have three fighters in the air from Charlie Flight. Alpha is about to relieve them. Should I deploy the whole of the Flight, just in case?"

The Captain considered it for a moment. "Negative, Commander," he said at last. "No, let's not break the norm. We've established patterns, and if we change them, the Selubassari will notice."

"Understood, sir." He made his way over to another station in Flight Control. Taking out the rest of Alpha Flight and scanning for tachyon emissions or creating a basic detection line between the fighters would be breaking the norm, he thought. "Well, you just don't take over a station and leave it unguarded," he said into the comm. A quick thought ran through his mind and he quickly dismissed it. There's no way in hell the Selubassari have ships inside the Convergence Zone, waiting on a signal. No way.

"Especially if you're trying to collect a debt," Harvey remarked. "They've got to know something we don't." Or they have other ideas completely.

"Commander," said Petty Officer Tiner. "No Selubassari ships within five lightyears. I'm expecting to see some in their star system, which is eleven lightyears away, but the Rakhari homeworld is a lot closer. About seven lightyears."

"Captain Geisler, our scans down here show none of their ships within five lightyears of us," said Terry. "We should see some in their home system, but we'll get to the Rakhari's before theirs. Still, none anywhere. How do the Selubassri keep their control without backup?"

Harvey didn't know the answer, much less want to speculate over an open comm channel. "I think I'm going to have you change your flight plan anyway, Commander. Don't launch any more birds than usual, but keep to the starbase. Let the Rakhari watch the planet. Let's see what happens."

"Can do, Captain," said Terry. "I'll make the necessary adjustments prior to the next launch. Station-keeping, so to speak, only. And we'll continue with the scans. I'll keep you updated. Anything else, sir?"

"I can't think of anything, Commander," Harvey replied, shaking his head. "Carry on. Geisler out."

Terry went back over to the Petty Officer. "We still have a few minutes before Alpha's three birds launch. The pilots should be getting their mission briefing now. Adjust their flight plans to keep them close to the starbase and further from the planet. Make sure to flag it so the mission briefing officer gets it right away."

Tiner nodded, looking back to his console. It took only a minute to make the modifications and send them to the briefing officer. "Close enough to Deep Space Fifteen, but far enough away to avoid suspicion. Or, so we hope."

"You bet, Petty Officer. Right now, hope is about all we have," said Terry.

 

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